Brick and mortar stores and shopping malls hit the trifecta in 2020. Internet competition, Covid-19 and looting caused by social unrest. In Chicago, affluent shopping areas remain boarded up while Amazon delivery trucks float down deserted residential streets - stopping at almost every home. Think about that.
Brick and Mortar Woes
But even before the retail trifecta, a new, retail climate was detectable - "No" signs began appearing on store doors: No Food, No Drinks, No Strollers, No Change, No Public Restroom, No Soliciting, No Bills Over $20, (during Covid: No Cash), No Pets. Stores that catered to students added No Backpacks, No More Than 3 Students At a Time and No Leaning On The Counter to the No list.
Of course today No Entry Without a Mask has been added.
Another concern also generates signs in stores, one seen before Covid - "shrinking inventory." Theft is why signs outside fitting rooms read Only Three Garments Allowed at One Time and are underscored by a Video Surveillance In Use sign. Years ago, most stores installed retail theft technology like alarms and some made customers check bags over a certain size before shopping. Not that the customers weren't trusted or anything.
A Change From the Golden Age of Retail
During the golden age of American retail, employees greeted and beseeched customers like old friends and not just because they were on commission - it was the retail culture. In malls and department stores, perfume hostesses and makeup artists waved at women who might want a makeover or need one.
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